06386 - Children's Literature

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Giorgia Grilli

  • Credits 9

  • SSD M-PED/02

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

  • Course Timetable from Sep 24, 2018 to Nov 14, 2018

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student knows the cultural context in which children's literature has historycally found itself; knows how to analyse children's books, distinguishing between commercial, strictly educational, and literary products; knows how to make connections between a literary, a filmic, a visual text directed to children or having children as their focus; knows the main theories concerning the study of children's literature; knows how to conceive educational and didactic project to promote the pleasure of reading.

Course contents

The course teaches what children's books - and especially children's 'classics' and/or the best contemporary literary products - are actually about. It stimulates to read deeper and in between the lines in order to discover and decipher the metaphores, the topoi, the archetypes, the symbols implicit in all literature and in particular in children's literature. It shows how many important, philosophical and anthropological themes are to be found in children's books. It reveals how children's books are, at their best, always a subversive literature, deeply critical of the grown-ups world, usually characterized by too rigid or too limited schemes, behaviours and perspectives. The course uses childrens' literature to help future Teachers discover the inner, and often otherwise unexpressed, world of childhood, with its peculiar visions, desires, dreams, needs and ways to be in the world.

Erasmus students DO NOT HAVE TO ATTEND  the workshop which is compulsory for Italian students.


To pass the exam, all students have to study very carefully the following critical text:

G. Grilli, Libri nella giungla. Orientarsi nell'editoria per ragazzi, Roma, Carocci, 2012

Students will also have to choose a specific, recurrent, or typical theme of children's literature and read at least 3 novels for children revolving around that theme + at least 3 picturebooks for children revolving around that same or another theme.

Teaching methods

Frontal lectures enriched by the use of projected images taken from the most important illustrated children's books and picturebooks, by the reading aloud of parts of novels, picturebooks and short stories, and by the vision of some movies concerning childhood.

Assessment methods

The exam is an oral exam, and the student will be asked to talk about the most important themes found in the critical books and to create a discourse on a chosen theme for which he/she will have read at least 4 children's novels (classic and/or contemporary ones).

The exam score is in 30ties (minimum score is 18, maximum 30).

If a student doesn't pass the exam, he/she can try it the following session.

To be part of the list of students that in any sessions will be interviewed, students must sign up to the exam through the Almaesami website

Teaching tools

Possible extra teaching tools will be indicated during the lectures.

Office hours

See the website of Giorgia Grilli